By Andy Sambidge
Company CEO says mobile data services will soon overtake fixed line subscription.
Mobile broadband uptake in Saudi Arabia is currently growing at a rate of 126 percent, figures released by Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) on Sunday reveal.
After 24 months of operations, Mobily said it had 600,000 mobile broadband subscribers presenting 126 percent uptake on 2008 year-end results of 266,000 subscribers and 445 percent growth when compared to the second quarter of 2008.
For May alone, daily mobile data consumption reached 37 terabyte, and over one petabyte of traffic exchanged over the month, doubling consumption as compared to the end of 2008.
Mobily's daily performance of 18.5 terabytes makes its mobile data network the busiest in the world, the company said.
"History is about to repeat itself. In the late 1990s and the early 21st century, mobile phone subscriptions overtook fixed line subscriptions," said Khalid Al Kaf, managing director and CEO of Mobily.
"Very soon, that same thing will happen with mobile data. Mobile data and wireless subscriptions will overtake fixed line data subscriptions, in numbers of customers and in revenue," he added.
"We live in a fast paced and dynamic world. People want broadband service and want it today. Mobile and wireless can deliver," Al Kaf pointed out.
In March, Mobily said it had upgraded its mobile data network to support high-speed uplink packet access (HSUPA) technology and offer a full high speed packet access (HSPA) mobile broadband experience to its customers in the more than 220 areas it covers with 3.75G.
In February, Mobily brought the iPhone 3G to the kingdom.For all the latest tech news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Wish we could say the same here for UAE. I love to use mobile broadband but its way too expensive. I have an ADSL connection at home which is way to expensive compared to other countries and to have a very over priced data package by Etisalat going to burn my pocket. I cannot imagine the number of people who will subscribe for data package if it were affordable. A real shame.
Etisalat introduces its broadband unlimited for AED 460/month. I think no one will be spending this much amount for accessing 3G on their mobile. But still people are taking this 3G connection and using VOIP. I saw them calling for even 30 fills per minute for their country. Etisalat launched 3G for that??